Oriental Pratincole, Blue-billed Duck, Dangars Lagoon

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Oriental Pratincole, Blue-billed Duck, Dangars Lagoon
From: "Michael J Hunter" <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 14:20:15 +1100
   The Oriental Pratincole was still at Dangars Lagoon on Jan 3rd, around
midday, in the same spot as described by John Clifton-Everest, and behaving
the same way, ie standing in shallow water just off the spit to the left of
the hide, doing an odd short circular flight and back to the same or a
slightly different spot, occassionally preening, once catching an insect. It
was quite windy, and the bird was fluffed up and looking very resigned.
    Only a few Pink-eared Ducks were left, upwards of a dozen Blue-billed
Ducks, and a single Musk Duck, Australasian Shovellers, no Great Crested and
only a few Hoary -Headed Grebes seen.  Marsh Sandpipers, about six, were
busy, this bird not on the National Parks birdlist later obtained from the
Uralla Information Centre (nor was the Oriental Prat., unsurprisingly).
Red-kneed Dotterels and Pied Stilts were feeding in front of the hide.
    Amazing prolonged scope views of a Little Grassbird were a nice bonus as
it intermittently foraged for an hour along the narrow bank below the rushes
on the island in front of the hide, calling as it exposed itself. If it
called, it would pop out of the rushes and hop along the bank . It looked
like a small Grasswren, cocking its long tail when it stopped. The crown was
distinctly russet.
    Dangars Lagoon would be well worth a stop-over for an hour or so on any
Sydney - Brisbane drive, it is just south of Uralla which is just south of
Armidale on the New England Highway.

Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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